June 8, 2023

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Polish PEN Club: We condemn the authorities’ attacks on the professor. Barbara Engliking

What deserves condemnation is the populist performance of politicians who give themselves the right to reject scientific discoveries and try to declare for themselves what is historical truth and what is not.

The Polish PEN Club strongly opposes the attacks of senior government officials regarding its recent statement on the attitude of Poles towards Jews during World War II. The attacks of prominent government deputies, including the prime minister, on prof. He struck not only Engelkingha personally, but also freedom of speech, freedom of scientific research, and Polish-Jewish relations based not on myths, but on truth.

Unfortunately, this was not the first such public attack. When, after the publication of the book “Next is Night. “The Fate of the Jews in Selected Provinces of Occupied Poland” by Prof. We protested against the libel trial of Englich against the court’s attempts to harass and intimidate Holocaust researchers describing the dark pages of Polish history. At that time, we wrote: “No It is not about the historical truth about the Holocaust, but about national mythology. It is a defense of fiction, not the “good name” of Poland, which this defense denounces and ridicules.

All results of scientific research are subject to criticism, but such criticism has its own methodology and must be carried out in a reliable and generally accepted way in science. However, what deserves condemnation is the populist performance of politicians who give themselves the right to reject scientific discoveries and try to declare themselves as themselves in determining what is historical fact and what is not.

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President: Marek Radzione, Vice-Presidents: Teresa Cinchowska-Henel, Henrik Woniakowski, Secretary: Magdalena Heidel, Treasurer: Pawe Proczniak. Board of Directors: Halina Cieplińska-Bitner, Jerzy Jarzębski, Basil Kerski, Ireneusz Krzemiński, Piotr Mitzner, Anna Nasiłowska, Maria Poprzęcka, Krzysztof Siwczyk, Iwona Smolka, Małgorzata Szejniewicz